Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Prepare to be amazed!

I got this cookbook for Christmas and I plan to make good use of it. More to follow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mini Quiche

1 box refrigerated pie crust

Filling:
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream

Bacon bits
Caramelized onions
Fresh spinach, chiffonade
Steamed broccoli, finely chopped
Shredded cheese
Anything else you may want

Unroll pie crusts and cut rounds from them with a 2-1/2 inch round cutter; press rounds into mini muffin pan. Place ~1 tsp. of filling in each crust. Whisk together eggs and cream, pour into crusts to fill. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

H/T

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cranberry Pecan Bread

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse(optional)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarse chopped
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out extra.

Stir together the orange zest, orange juice, buttermilk, butter, and egg in a small bowl. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in the cranberries and pecans. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F; continue to bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 1 hour before serving. The bread can then be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for several days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Espresso Hazelnut Toffee



1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. molasses
1-1/2 tsp. espresso powder
6 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

In a saucepan combine butter, sugars, salt, molasses, and espresso powder. Stir occasionally until you reach 250 degrees; then stir constantly until it reaches 300 degrees, remove from the heat and spread on a silicone mat. Score and let cool. Melt the chocolate and spread over the toffee, sprinkle with hazelnuts, let cool and break into pieces.

Fleur de Sel Toffee



8 oz. salted butter
8 oz. sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Fleur de Sel

Combine butter, sugar, salt, and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour onto a silicone mat or parchment and spread thin, sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Score, let cool and break into pieces.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nog Logs

Cream together:
1 c butter/margarine
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp rum flavoring

Add and mix:
3/4 c sugar
1 egg

Sift together and add:
1/4 tsp salt
3 c flour
1 tsp nutmeg
Frosting:
1/3 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cream
2 tsp rum
2 c powdered sugar

Shape into rolls, 1/2" diameter.
Cut into 3" lengths.
Ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 min.

Cool.
Frost (best to use cake
decorating tube).

Sprinkle with nutmeg.

SOURCE: Dawn Pfitzer

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alton Brown's Macaroon Delights

14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of kosher salt
2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Mix together by hand.

In a separate bowl:
Beat 4 large egg whites until they're "relatively frothy."
Slowly incorporate 5 ounces (3/4 cup minus 1 tbls.) sugar.
Beat to medium peaks.

Fold meringue into coconut. Gently - so you don't crush the structure!

Scoop, by tablespoons, onto parchment paper. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. I used my small cookie scoop.

Topping:
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 ounce shortening
Melt in a double boiler and dip the tops of the cooled cookies in it.

Store in a tin and separate the layers with waxed paper.

Keeps about 2 weeks.
NOTES: Watch the video to get a visual of what he means by "relatively frothy" and "medium peaks."
I used 4 large farm eggs (bigger than large store eggs) and ended up with too much meringue. I didn't realize this until I'd mixed everything together, so I ended up with something more like Meringues with lots of coconut in them than Macaroons. Good nonetheless!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Garlic


3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 head garlic (3 inches wide)
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 T unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Preheat oven to 425°. Wrap each potato in foil, then prick potatoes through foil several times with a fork. Cut off and discard 1/2 inch from top of garlic head, exposing cloves. Put garlic on a double layer of foil, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Twist foil tightly to enclose. Roast potatoes and garlic on rack in upper third of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Unwrap garlic and cool to warm, then squeeze cloves into a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Heat milk, butter, white pepper, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. While milk mixture heats, unwrap baked potatoes and force through ricer into bowl with garlic. Pour in hot milk mixture and gently stir with a large heatproof rubber spatula until combined.

Note: Because of modifications to the original recipe, we ended up with too much liquid. I've adjusted the amounts to what should work, but add a little at a time, just in case.

Sweet Potato Casserole


3 cups firmly packed unseasoned mashed sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds) (see note)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 2-quart casserole and set aside.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, beating until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
3. Scoop into the casserole, spreading to the edge and roughing the surface. Bake uncovered on the middle oven shelf for about 45 minutes or until tipped with brown.

Note: Wash potatoes and pierce with a fork, roast on a cookie sheet at 400° for 1 hour. Cool to room temperature, peel, then mash until light and fluffy.

We used an immersion blender to mash and combine ingredients simultaneously. This recipe had a lovely orange flavor, and was only lightly sweet.

Apple Ginger Pie Filling

(source)

Fills one 9 1/2" pie

3 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice

Bake at 400 for one hour.

Note: I was skeptical that there was enough bourbon in this recipe to be noticeable, but it played off the ginger really nicely. We made up our own apple pie spice combination.

Crème Fraîche Gelato

Makes about 5 cups
Source: Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner

2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1¾ cups (14 ounces) crème fraîche (see note)
½ teaspoon salt

Combine the milk, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and chill over an ice bath, stirring occasionally, until cold.

Using an immersion blender or a whisk, mix the crème fraîche and salt into the milk mixture. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into another bowl or container, cover and refrigerate for at least six hours or, preferably, overnight. Whisk the crème fraîche mixture until smooth. Freeze the gelato in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze one hour before serving.

Note: For homemade crème fraîche, combine four parts heavy cream with one part buttermilk (~1 1/3 c and 1/3 c, respectively) in a covered container and let it stand at a cool room temperature (65 to 70 degrees) for 24 to 36 hours, until it thickens and sours slightly. Stir it well and refrigerate. It'll keep for one week.

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

One generous quart

For the praline:
  • ½ cup (100 gr) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
For the ice cream custard:
  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. To make the caramel praline, spread the ½ cup of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or oil lightly.

2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)

Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn. It won’t take long.

3. Sprinkle in the salt without stirring, then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

4. To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.

5. Spread 1½ cups sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described in Step #2.

6. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go.

The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in 1 cup of the milk.

7. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F.

8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

10. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Note: As the ice cream sits, the little bits of caramel may liquefy and get runny and gooey, which is what they’re intended to do.

Pie Crust Victory!


NOTES: We used the Betty Crocker crust recipe and a lefse board with a muslin cover. It rolled out PERFECTLY, and was still flaky three days later.

Pizzelle

6 eggs
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c margarine, melted (do not substitute oil)
4 tsp baking powder
2 tbls anise extract (1 fl oz bottle)

Beat eggs, add sugar gradually. Beat until smooth.
Add cooled margarine and anise.
Sift flour and baking powder. Blend into egg mixture until smooth. Dough will be sticky enough to be dropped by spoon.

Bake in pizzelle maker. Makes approximately 60. "Can use vanilla instead of anise, but I've never tried it."

SOURCE: Jan Antinozzi (who was also gracious enough to lend her pizzelle iron)

Gingerbread Plus

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1/2 cup ginger syrup, or light corn syrup
8 tbls melted butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbls ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c (4.5 ounces) minced crystallized ginger (optional)
1 c boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the sugar, molasses, syrup, melted better, oil, and eggs, beating until smooth. Stir in the flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and crystallized ginger. Then carefully stir in the water; go slowly, as it will want to splash up. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir in any of the pasty patches that have gathered there.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan or tube pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until it tests done. Brush with additional ginger syrup.

NOTES: Great flavor. When I make this again, I will definitely consider adding a chopped apple (omitting some of the boiling water), or perhaps will add some of the chopped ginger by-product from the ginger syrup recipe.

Ginger Syrup

"Bitingly hot and sweet, this ginger syrup is a snap to make. Drizzle it over gingerbread, biscuits or scones, pancakes, or oatmeal. It's a wonderful addition to tea, too."

4 cups (about 13 ounces) fresh gingerroot, unpeeled, cut into 1/8-1/4" thick slices (a food processor makes short work of this task.)
3 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water

In a large, heave saucepan, bring the ginger, sugar, and water to a boil. Boil the mixture for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it registers 216-220 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. The lower temperature will give you a thinner syrup, one that's easy to stir into drinks; the higher temperature will yield a thicker syrup, more the consistency of corn syrup. (You can't tell how thick the syrup will be while it's still hot; you have to go by its temperature, as it'll thicken as it cools.)

Remove the pan from the burner and carefully strain the syrup into a nonreactive container. Store in the refrigerator.

SOURCE: It's a page copied from some cookbook. I got the recipe from Becky Brounstein and it's pretty fantastic. Her notes say it lasts months in the refrigerator, it's great in seltzer for homemade ginger ale (good for sour stomach), makes a great glaze of fruits and tarts, and really good in tea.

NOTES: I made this to use in and on a gingerbread cake recipe. Yum! Mine never did get up to the higher temperature, in spite of the long cooking time. It tastes fantastic and is really easy to make. (It really didn't even need to be stirred.) The only change I'd make is to possibly peel the ginger root. It was delicious and could possibly be chopped and used in some recipe (maybe even the gingerbread recipe noted above). I highly recommend slicing it in the food processor. It was super-easy.

YIELD: Two pints of syrup and a bunch of delicious (somewhat) candied ginger.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vanilla Rum Caramels

1 lb. butter
2 lb. brown sugar
16 oz corn syrup
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup dark rum

In a large kettle melt butter, stir in brown sugar, rum and salt. Gradually add corn syrup and milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until it reaches firm ball stage(245 to 250). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a well buttered jelly roll pan. Let cool until set and then cut into 1 x 3/4 inch pieces and wrap in waxed paper.

Makes ~200 pieces

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thai Coconut Chicken



3 chicken breasts(1.5-ish lbs) cut into large cubes
1 can coconut milk
3/8 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/8 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp curry
2 tbsp sriracha(or to taste)
2 cups steamed veggies(broccoli, carrots, snap peas)

Whisk together coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, peanut butter, curry & sriracha. Add chicken cubes to sauce and let marinate for 15 minutes to 3 hours. Pour chicken and sauce into a pan and cook for ~10 minutes over medium/high heat until chicken is cooked, add veggies right at the end.

Serve over rice.

Makes 5 servings.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Farm Journal Fudge

1 cup butter
4-1/2 cups sugar
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 (14.5oz) can evaporated milk
12oz milk chocolate
12oz semisweet chocolate
2 cups chopped walnuts

Combine butter, sugar, marshmallow creme and evaporated milk in a small kettle. Bring to a boil over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil steadily over low heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Add chocolate and nuts; stir until chocolate is melted and blended in.

Pour at once into two buttered 9" square pans. When cool and firm cut into pieces.

Makes approximately 5.5 pounds.

Notes:
Generic marshmallow creme does not work well, it must be Kraft!
I use a candy thermometer to make sure the mixture is below 115 degrees so that I don't scorch the chocolate.

Candy Corn




1 cup white sugar

2/3 cup corn syrup

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract(or 1/8tsp Fiori di Sicilia if you want creamsicle flavoured)

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup powdered milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

10-40 drops red and yellow food coloring

- Heat white sugar, corn syrup and butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir until all ingredients are dissolved. Turn heat to high until mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let bubble (uncovered) for 5 minutes.

- Stir in vanilla extract and remove from heat. Allow to cool until warm to the touch (about 15 minutes).

- In a large bowl sift powdered sugar, powdered milk and salt. Add cooled mixture from sauce pan and stir until it’s too thick. Begin to work with your hands and knead the dough until all of the powdered sugar have been absorbed.

- Divide dough into 3 sections, make a dent in 2 pieces and add 20 drops of yellow food coloring to each. In one of those, add 9 drops of red food coloring to create orange. Mix each until colors are even throughout.

- To make candy corns, eyeball 1/8th of the dough from each piece. Roll each color into long ropes and press together. Cut with a knife and smoosh the seams together. Microwave them in short bursts to keep the dough warm. Allow the candy to cool and air dry.

- Once dry, store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes


2 bone-in chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
1 16-ounce jar mild salsa verde
2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs
1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
8 ounces Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
kosher salt and black pepper
8 6-inch flour tortillas

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Place the chicken in a medium pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes; remove from pot and let cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones; place the meat in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the salsa, cilantro, and ½ cup of the sour cream until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining ½ cup sour cream.
  3. To the chicken, add the corn, ½ cup of the sauce, 1 cup of the cheese, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  4. Spread 1 cup of the remaining sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Roll the chicken mixture in the tortillas (about ½ cup per tortilla) and place seam-side down in the dish. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with cilantro, sour cream, and rice, if desired.
NOTES: Measure the cilantro very loosely (don't pack it in). The only change I made was to use small, fajita-sized tortillas. The recipe made 16 of these and I divided them into two 2.75 quart pyrex baking dishes. I baked one right away and the other is in the freezer. I put the topping sauce in a zip-loc and the extra cheese in another zip-loc. It can all be assembled before baking.
SOURCE: Real Simple

Italian Chicken

1 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 c. crushed onion and garlic croutons
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 c. tomato puree

Combine crushed croutons, cheese, and seasoning in a wide shallow bowl. Put puree in a second bowl. Cut chicken into 1-inch strips. Dip in puree, then coat with crumbs. Place on sprayed baking dish, and bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes.

Source: Church Cookbook, Joy Polnaszek

I made this with some changes last night and Dad and Nick really liked it.

  • I didn't have croutons, so I used dried bread crumbs instead.
  • I mixed the seasonings with the crumbs (but not the cheese).
  • Instead of tomato puree, I used some leftover pizza sauce.
  • I cut each chicken breast into about three parts (instead of strips), cutting off the narrower half and then slicing the thicker part in two pieces lengthwise so there were three pieces of about the same general thickness.
  • I sprinkled the Parmesan on top of it all before baking.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bread Pudding with Vanilla Rum Sauce



Bread Pudding

4 cups cubed bread(old dry bread is just fine)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup amaretto
3 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Spread the bread cubes evenly in a greased 9x13 pan, drizzle with butter and amaretto. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the bread. Bake at 350 for 35-50 minutes or until an knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Rum Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup rum
1 cup half and half
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste(or 1 split vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

In a small sauce pan melt butter, stir in rum and vanilla. Whisk together half and half and cornstarch, then whisk that into the butter. Stir over medium heat until slightly thickened. Serve warm over bread pudding.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Golden Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Original from Taste of Home Baking Book:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
2 tbls. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c quick cooking oats
2/3 c flour
2 tbls. grated orange peel
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 c golden raisins

My Edits:
3/4 c butter flavored crisco
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
2 tbls. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c quick cooking oats
2/3 c flour
8 drops orange essential oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 c regular raisins

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, water and vanilla. Combine oats, flour, orange peel, cinnamon, and baking soda. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the raisins.
Drop 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Note: I used the orange oil because I have some on hand. The peel would probably also be very nice, but I didn't have an orange on hand. It is a good flavor in these cookies though!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Johnny's Nacho Stuff

1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey, if that's how you roll)
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 1/2 c. salsa
shredded cheese, optional
sour cream, optional
Scoop-shaped tortilla chips

Brown hamburger, drain. Add corn, beans, and salsa. Bring to boil (it'll probably be necessary to add a little water to have enough liquid to boil). Simmer 5 minutes, or until hot. Serve with chips, top with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Caramel Roll Spread

This is how I make caramel rolls without having to cook up a batch of caramel on the stovetop which is great if you're short on time. I made my rolls with frozen bread dough, and this recipe was enough for two loaves of dough. The filling melts and caramelizes in the bottom of the pan leaving the cinnamon behind in the dough.

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp maple flavouring(optional)

Mix all ingredients together, spread on dough, roll up, slice and bake as usual. Makes enough for two loaves of dough(1 dozen large rolls).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chicken Marinade

2 tsp salt
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
1 c oil
1/2 c red wine vinegar
3/4 c soy sauce (lite or reduced salt also works)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp parsley flakes

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken pieces in 1 gallon freezer bag. Pour marinade over the meat. Freeze.

To serve, thaw. Grill or cook chicken until the meat is no longer pink inside and juices run clear.

Chicken Enchiladas

16 flour tortillas
1 medium onion
1 tbls vegetable oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1/4 c chopped black olives
6 cups shredded cooked chicken
3/4 c salsa
Enchilada sauce

Heat oven to 350. I large saucepan, heat vegetables oil, add onion, chili powder, garlic and cumin. Add cream cheese, chicken and salsa. Removed from heat when thoroughly combined. Add 1 c cheddar and the olives.
Spread 1/4 c enchilada sauce over the bottom of baking dish(es). Spoon 1/3 c chicken mixture into tortilla and roll. Place side by side in a baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

NOTES:
  • This recipe would work well with beef or turkey also.
  • I've also chopped up chicken breasts instead of using shredded chicken.
  • It makes a good freezer meal. Place filled tortillas into the baking dish as instructed. Put enchilada sauce in a small zip-loc on top and put cheese into another small zip-loc on top so it all stays together. Cover well and freeze. When you want to serve it, just thaw, finish the sauce/cheese steps of the assembly and bake.
  • I rarely have enchilada sauce on hand, but have substituted a small can of tomato sauce (8 oz) mixed with cumin.

Kathy's Lasagna

1 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbls. parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbls. dried basil
1 tbls. dried oregano
3 6 ounce cans tomato paste
1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 c water (add up to 1/2 c more if it's reduced too much. The uncooked pasta will need some liquid.)
1 16 oz. pkg lasagna noodles
30 ounces ricotta
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbls parsley
1/2 c Parmesan
1 lb. mozzarella, sliced or shredded

  1. Brown meat; drain off excess fat; stir in remaining ingredients in first section above. Simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine ricotta, eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, 2 T parsley, and Parmesan.
  3. Spoon about 1/2 c meat sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  4. Cover with layer of uncooked noodles
  5. spread 1/3 of cheese mixture, 1/3 of mozzarella and 1/3 of the meat over the noodles. Repeat layers twice.
  6. Freeze.
  7. Bake at 375 for 1 hour. Let stand for 15-20 minutes before cutting.
NOTES:
I made a half recipe and used a smaller baking dish.
I substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta

SOURCE: Kathy Huber, Christine Houle

Four-Cheese Spinach Lasagna

2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 c carrots, julienned
1 c green onions, sliced
1/2 c sweet red peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oil
1/2 c flour
3 c skim milk
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 1/2 c cottage cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese (4 oz. = 1 c)
1/2 c Swiss cheese, shredded
12 cooked lasagna noodles

In skillet, sauté the vegetables and garlic in oil until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a oil; cook and stir for 2 mins. Reduce heat; add 1/4 c Parmesan, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in spinach. Set one cup aside. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, mozzarella and Swiss. Spread 1/2 c of spinach mixture in a greased 13x9 pan.

Layer:
4 noodles
half of the cheese mixture and vegetables
3/4 c spinach mixture
Repeat layers. (Use remaining spinach, vegetables, and cheese)
Top with remaining noodles, reserved spinach mixture and remaining Parmesan. Cover and freeze.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 for 35 mins. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer. Let stand 10-15 mins. before cutting.

NOTES:
We made a 1/2 batch and put it in an 11 cup rectangular pyrex dish.

SOURCE: Christine Houle

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bruschetta Chicken

No matter how you pronounce it, these flavors are great together! ;-)

1/2 c flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 c dry bread crumbs
1 tbls. melted butter

Bruschetta:
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tbls. minced fresh basil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt (or less)
1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in the flour, then in eggs. Place in a sprayed baking dish.
  2. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over chicken.
  3. Loosely cover the baking dish with foil. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer until top is browned.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients (tomato, etc.)
  5. Put each serving on a plate and top with a little bruschetta for those who aren't foolish enough to think tomatoes are yucky.
NOTES:
  • Italian herb seasoned crumbs would've been great too.
  • I usually add more garlic to just about everything and did this time also. That was really not the best idea. Next time, I'll just dutifully stick to 2 cloves.
  • I had 5 chicken breasts and actually there was a lot of topping. I could've done 6.

Candied Nuts

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound walnut halves
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread nuts in a single layer over a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until the nuts start to turn brown and the smell of roasting nuts fills the kitchen.
  2. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 minutes, or until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage of 236 degrees F (113 degrees C). Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla immediately. .
  3. Add walnuts to sugar syrup, and stir to coat well. Spoon nuts onto waxed paper, and immediately separate nuts with a fork. Cool, and store in airtight containers.
Great with pecans!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oven Chicken Fingers

1 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced about 1/2 inch or less
2 eggs with 1 tbls water, beaten

Mix dry ingredients. Dip chicken in egg, dip in dry ingredients, place on a sprayed baking sheet.

Bake 350 for 20 minutes. Cool, freeze. Reheat to serve. It's possible that it would be nicer to drizzle these with butter before baking the 2nd time.

Serve with dipping sauce.

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: I froze the filling in a separate zip loc. This can be put together with a frozen crust when ready to bake.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wild Rice Soup

¾ c uncooked wild rice
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 c. water
½ tsp. salt
1 med. onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, chopped
½ c butter
½ c flour
3 c chicken or turkey broth
*2 c milk or half and half
¾ c diced turkey, chicken or ham
½ tsp. dried rosemary
parsley, salt, pepper

Rinse rice, sauté in oil, add water and salt. Simmer rice about 30 minutes, or until cooked. Drain, reserving 1 ½ cups of liquid. In large soup kettle, sauté onions and carrot in butter until onion is transparent, reduce heat. Thoroughly blend in flour and cook five minutes, stirring frequently. Do not brown. Using a whisk, blend in hot chicken stock and reserved rice liquid. Cook, allowing to thicken slightly.
*If you want a creamy soup, add the milk or half-and-half.
Add rice, meat, and seasonings. Simmer 20 minutes. 8-10 servings.

Hamburger Stroganoff

1 1/2 tsp. butter
1/3 c. onion, chopped
3/4 lb. hamburger
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 T flour*
2 tsp. salt*
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 lb. mushrooms*
1/2 package dry mushroom soup*
3/4 c. milk*
1 T sherry
3/4 c. sour cream

Sauté onion in butter. Add and brown hamburger and garlic. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes, add soup mix, milk, sherry, and sour cream.

Freeze in ziploc or tupperware container.

To prepare: Thaw and heat, serve over rice or pasta. Garnish with dill, parsley, or chives.

Notes: Starred ingredients may be replaced by one FAMILY-SIZED can of cream of mushroom soup. We accidentally purchased a regular-sized can, and made about 1/3 of the white sauce called for to make up the difference.

Western-style Beef and Beans

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. beef bouillon
1/4 c. boiling water
1 lb baked beans
1/2 c. ketchup
4 tsp. mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled

Over medium heat, cook beef, onions, and celery until cooked and tender; drain. Dissolve bouillon in water, stir into beef mixture. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Cool and freeze.

Reheat in stove or crockpot.

Note: We used a 22 oz can of Bush's Bourbon and Brown Sugar Grillin' Beans.

Chicken a la King

3 pieces of bacon, diced
1/4 c. chopped onions
3 oz. mushrooms
1/4 c. green peppers
1 1/2 T butter
6 T flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. half & half
1 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. diced cooked chicken
1 1/2 T pimentos

Saute the bacon, onions, mushrooms, green pepper, and butter in a saucepan until tender. Blend in the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the half & half and broth and cook until thickened. Stir in the chicken and pimentos. Cool and freeze.

Reheat on the stovetop or in a crockpot, serve over noodles or biscuits.

Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, pork, and/or turkey
2/3 c. dry oats or cooked brown rice
1/2 c. diced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 eggs
2/3 c. ketchup

Mix all ingredients very well. Pack into a loaf pan, wrap and freeze. When ready to cook, thaw and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

For meatballs, brown in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes before freezing. Pack in sauce and freeze (in a tupperware, not a ziploc). When ready to eat, thaw during the day, then heat slowly on the stovetop.

Notes: A double batch of this recipe yielded two loaves, plus 18 good-sized meatballs.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cherry Chicken

4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 (6 oz) chicken breasts
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
2 c. chicken stock
4 T cold butter
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c dry white wine
1 c dried cherries

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 3 T oil. Season chicken with thyme, salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook for until done on the outside, then move to one side of the skillet.

Add pignoli to the skillet and toast over moderate heat. Add 1T oil, onion, celery, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the celery and onions are tender. Add the stock, and cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the white wine, and cherries continue to cook until there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat off the under the pan. Add butter in small pieces and whisk until it has completely melted.

Serve over rice.

Giffords' Really Good Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup butter-flavored crisco (buy it in sticks and you won't have the measuring mess)
1-1/4 cups firmly packed brwn sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat 375
Combine crisco,brwn sugar,milk,and vanilla in bowl.Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into creamed mixture. Stir in chips.


Drop onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes

NOTES: They brought these to this year's 4th of July picnic and they were pretty fantastic. Don't overbake and they'll be the nicest cookie texture you've ever had.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Old-Fashioned Caramel Buttermilk Cake

  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Soda
  • 5 Tablespoons Hot water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Cream sugar and eggs. Sift together flour and cocoa, dissolve baking soda into water, and combine all ingredients.
Grease and flour pan. Bake at 350 until done (55-60 minutes for a bundt pan).

Glaze:

  • 1 lb powdered sugar (3-4 c.)
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients and pour over cake while still warm, but not hot.

Note: I made a half batch of glaze, and it was plenty. I also had to microwave it for 30-40 secs to get it to a pourable consistency.


Look at how well this came out of the pan. I just let it cool for half an hour and it came right out!

Source: Someone on Ravelry's grandmother

Monday, August 23, 2010

Key Lime Gelato

Base:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
Flavoring:
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, preferably Key lime
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup (about 5) crushed graham crackers (optional)
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn't form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F.

Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Gently whisk the lime juice and zest into the base. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn. (Optional: Just after churning quickly stir in the graham cracker crumbs.) Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cannoli shells

This is the original recipe, found here:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Marsala
1 egg white
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Directions
Combine the flour, cinnamon, shortening, sugar and salt, and wetting gradually with the wine, knead together with fingers until rather hard dough or paste is formed. Form into a ball, cover with a cloth and let stand for about 1 hour. Cut dough in half and roll half of the dough into a thin sheet about 1/4-inch thick or less and cut into 4-inch ovals.

Place a metal tube diagonally across each oval lengthwise. Wrap dough around tube by overlapping the 2 sides, sealing the overlapping sides with a little egg white. Meanwhile heat vegetable oil in a large deep pan for deep frying. Drop 1 or 2 of the tubes at a time into the hot oil, fry gently on all sides until dough turns a golden brown color. Remove from pan, let cool a little, gently remove shell from the metal tube. Set shells aside to become cold. Repeat procedure until shells are all made.

NOTES:
  1. The flavor was really good and the marsala added a nice, distinct flavor.
  2. We made the first ones about 1/4" thick as indicated, and they were BAD! (Didn't get crispy and too tough.) It worked much better to roll it as thin as possible (we could practically see through the dough).
  3. Instead of ovals, we'd roll them more into circles to give a nicer finished look. (More filling exposed to dip into pistachios or chocolate shavings.)
  4. The egg white is essential to make it all stick together while frying, but try to keep the it off the cannoli tubes so it doesn't make them stick.
  5. The oil was heated to about 380 F. There was nothing indicated in the recipe and we just guessed.
  6. The filling made about 16 cannoli, and there were more shells than that. I've put some in the freezer to see if that works well.
  7. DO NOT FILL THEM TOO FAR AHEAD OF TIME. They were pretty soggy by the next day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Queso Blanco

1 gallon whole milk
1/4 cup vinegar

  1. In a large pot, heat milk to 190 degrees, stirring to keep the bottom from scorching.
  2. Once the milk reaches 190, slowly add all the vinegar. Stir until white curds separate and are floating in the yellow-ish whey.
  3. Pour curds and when into a colander lined with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth. Let drain for several hours. Store cheese in an air-tight container. It will keep for up to two weeks.
NOTES:
  • This is a good, spreadable cheese and can be flavored with herbs, garlic, etc.
  • I used about 3/4-1 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk or cream (maybe less, depending on the texture), and the outer peel of one lemon (grated on a micro-plane) to make canolli filling. I whipped it with the whisk attachment of my Kitchen-aid. Very good!
  • I've also salted it a little (herbs and garlic are also good here) and used it for lasagna or manicotti - basically, wherever you'd use ricotta.
  • Sometimes it's necessary to add a little more vinegar to make the curds separate. If it doesn't happen within a minute, add the extra.
YIELD: About 2 1/2 cups of cheese.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spinach Salad

1 bunch spinach
1 8 ounce can water chestnuts (slivered)
6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
4-6 thinly sliced green onions

Dressing:
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c oil
2 1/2 tsp ketchup
2 1/2 tbls vinegar
1 tbls Worchestershire sauce

Mix dressing ingredients and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss with dressing.

Source: Anoka County 4-H cookbook, p. 296

Notes: When we made this tonight, we made a couple substitutions: no green onion and water chestnuts, instead some chives and 2 sliced, hard-cooked eggs.
Also, I think there's too much dressing for the amount of salad, so I begin by pouring 1/2-2/3 of it on. That's typically enough unless you make a huge batch.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Applesauce Bran Muffins

(The other bran muffin recipe I'd highly recommend.)

1 1/2 c Nabisco 100% Bran
1 1/2 c applesauce (chunky applesauce is really good)
1 egg
1/4 c melted margarine
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 tbls. baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c raisins
Mix bran, applesauce, egg, margarine and brown sugar; let stand 5 minutes. In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder and cinnamon; stir in bran mixture just until blended (batter will be lumpy). Stir in raisins. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until done. Cool slightly. Drizzle with apple sauce glaze; serve warm.

Glaze: Blend 1/2 c confectioner's sugar into 1 tbls applesauce until smooth.

Note: I've never used the glaze, but I've made this muffin recipe many times. Very moist and nice!

Great Bran Muffins

A favorite old recipe I used to make all the time.

Soak together for about 5 minutes:
  • 1 1/2 c Nabisco 100% Bran cereal
  • 1 1/4 c milk
After cereal has soaked add:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c oil
Mix dry ingredients together:
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sugar
Mix dry with wet ingredients. Don't over mix.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Makes 1 dozen.

Breakfast Burritos

Based on a Sonic recipe, this version comes from Pioneer Woman.

8 whole Flour Tortillas, Fajita Size
1-½ cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
8 whole Eggs Beaten
2 Tablespoons Half-and-half
1 pound Breakfast Sausage
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
½ cups Jarred Jalapeno Slices
3 whole Roma Tomatoes--sliced
Salsa, On The Side
1 Tablespoon Butter

Preparation Instructions:
  • Bake or fry tater tots according to package directions. Make sure they’re a little on the crisp side. Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave; keep warm and soft.
  • Brown breakfast sausage in a large skillet, breaking it up as you go along.
  • Mix eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper, and beat with a fork or whisk until totally combined. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the eggs, scrambling them until they’re in smaller pieces and no longer wet.
  • To assemble, add ingredients to the middle 1/3 of a warm tortilla in this order: cheese, eggs, sausage, tater tots, chopped onion, jalapeno, and tomato slices. Wrap one side of the tortilla, then the other. Wrap burrito tightly in a square of foil and keep warm. Reheat in the oven if necessary.
Serve with salsa on the side.

NOTES: I used banana peppers (yum!) for those who like such things. These were better than my usual bb's due to the additional step of baking them for a few minutes. It really made a nice difference and the oven was warm because Holly baked muffins anyway. There were a couple left over, and they microwaved nicely the next morning.

French Toast Bake

1-2 day-old French bread
5 eggs
2 ½ cups milk
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Arrange bread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

2. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle pecans over egg mixture. Combine butter and remaining sugar; drizzle over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with blueberries. Bake 10 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Granola Bars

(recipe source)
  • 8 oz old-fashioned rolled oats (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 oz sunflower seeds (1/2 cup)
  • 3 oz sliced almonds, (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 oz wheat germ (1/2 cup)
  • 6 oz honey (1/2 cup)
  • 1 3/4 oz dark brown sugar (1/4 cup packed)
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 oz chopped dried fruit*
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish** and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds,*** almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.†

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter††, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down,††† evenly distributing the mixture in the dish. Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes:
*I used dried blueberries, cherries, and golden raisins
**A batch and a half works well in a 9x13 pan
***The original recipe calls for raw seeds in the shell. I used regular roasted seeds and added them with the fruit.
Make sure you stir them together before toasting; the wheat germ will burn if it's left out on its own.
†I substituted peanut butter, and it was pretty yummy.
†††Pack mixture very firmly into the pan, or you will get granola instead of granola bars.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grandma Rose's Refrigerator Pickles

7 cups sliced cucumbers
1 small onion (optional)
1 tbsp. salt
Mix and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

Brine:
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. whole celery seed
Boil and cool. Mix with the cucumbers. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Properly stored, these will be good all through the winter.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 can Cream Of Chicken Soup (10 Ounce Can)
2 Tablespoons Red Wine (or Red Wine Vinegar)
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 cup Cheddar Cheese (or Any Kind You Like)
1 cup Croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash and pat dry the 4 chicken breasts. Place them in a small casserole dish.
  3. Sauce: Combine cream of chicken soup, red wine (vinegar), and melted butter & mix together. Spoon over the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese & croutons (optional) over sauce.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil & bake, covered for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil & bake an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.

NOTES: Obviously you could alter this sauce recipe a thousand different ways. I made it exactly as called for and it was good. I did forget to cover it and the cheese was very crusty but the chicken was still moist. (I didn't take a photo for this reason.)

Easy. Tasty. Ingredients I had on hand. A+

From Tasty Kitchen

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cocoa Frosting

1/4 c butter
3 tbls milk
2 tbls cocoa
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (or mint or orange extract)

Brown butter, then add milk and cocoa in small pan. Cook over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat. Add sugar and extract.

Beat until smooth.

1 1/2 cups frosting

Source: Grandma Donna

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ginger Peach Sauce

1 fresh peach
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Cut peach into 8-12 slices, drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired, grill 3-5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add peach slices, and simmer until slightly thickened. Serve with pork and rice.

Notes:
  • This was made on the fly, so all measurements are approximate.
  • I was in the midst of slow cooking a large pork loin, so I used that, but obviously the yummiest option would be to grill pork chops along with the peaches.
  • This makes a pretty thin sauce, so if you like it thicker, mix a little more orange juice with some cornstarch and add that to the sauce as it simmers.

Strawberry Smoothies

  • 8 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar (or honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ice cubes
In a blender combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and serve. Makes 2 8ounce glasses.

Notes: You could also use vanilla yogurt and omit the sugar and vanilla.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prosciutto Chicken Burgers

2 lbs. ground chicken
2 oz. prosciutto, finely chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. maple seasoning
6 slices havarti
6 whole wheat kaiser rolls

Mix together the chicken, prosciutto, salt, garlic, and maple. Form into 6 patties and grill for ~5 minutes on each side, top with cheese and serve on kaiser rolls.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lime Rickey ala Holly

That necessity is indeed the mother of invention was confirmed today when we ran out of mineral water to mix this drink. Instead, Holly suggested we use Limonata and it was fantastic!

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups gin
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 quarts chilled soda water
Thin slices of lime
Preparation
1. In a 1-quart pan, mix sugar with 1/2 cup water and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool or chill.

2. In a 3-quart pitcher, combine gin, lime juice, and the cooled syrup. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

3. To serve, add soda water. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime.

Source

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Grilled Pineapple


1 large ripe pineapple
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Trim, core, and peel pineapple. Cut into quarters from top to bottom. Slice out the core from each quarter. Cut each quarter slice into two pieces You should now have 8 long wedges of pineapple. You could also cut each of these in half to get 16 shorter servings

In a small bowl, combine honey, lemon or lime juice, and black pepper. Brush the glaze onto each slice of pineapple, coating completely.

Preheat barbecue grill. Either oil or spray the grill rack with non-stick cooking spray. Place pineapple wedges on the grill and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side (turning so that grill marks are on all sides) until the pineapple becomes fragrant and starts to dry out on the surface. NOTE: Don't overcook, or they'll turn mushy.

Remove from the grill and brush with any additional glaze one more time. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nick's Mojito

6 ounces light rum
12 mint leaves
6 tbls. lime juice
4 tbls. sugar
club soda

Mix rum, bruised mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar. Mix until sugar dissolves. Top off with a splash of club soda. Serve over ice.

Notes: We used orange mineral water because that's what we had on hand.

Pad Thai with Shrimp

4 c. water
6-8 ounces linguine-style stir-fry noodles (rice stick noodles)
1/3 c lime juice
1/3 c water
3 tbls. brown sugar
3 tbls. fish sauce or soy sauce
3 tbls. soy sauce
1 tbls. rice vinegar or white vinegar
3/4 tsp. cayenne
3 tbls. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 med. shallot, finely chopped, or 1/4 c finely chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
12 oz. cooked peeled, deveined shrimp
1/4 c chopped dry-roasted peanuts
3 c fresh bean sprouts
4 medium green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c packed cilantro leaves

  1. In a 3-qt. saucepan, heat 4 cups water to boiling. Remove from heat; add noodles (push them into the water if necessary. Soak for about 3-5 minutes or until soft, but firm. Drain, rinse with cold water.
  2. Mix lime juice, 1/3 c water, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper, and 1 tbls. oil. Set aside.
  3. In wok or skillet, heat remaining oil. Cook garlic and shallot (onion) about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add eggs. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently and constantly, until scrambled but still moist.
  4. Stir in noodles and lime juice mixture. Increase heat to high. Cook about one minute, tossing constantly with 2 wooden spoons until sauce begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook 2-3 minutes, tossing with 2 wooden spoons until noodles are tender. Place on serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with additional peanuts and green onions if desired.
NOTES: I bought the fish sauce because we were feeling adventurous, but I'm not sure it was necessary. On it's own, it's not so nice, but it really was good in this recipe. I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest of the bottle. Alas.

I used more green onions instead of the shallots.

I didn't use all the sauce. It seemed like a lot, and we weren't sure everyone would like it at that point.

Everyone liked this recipe. The rice noodles, in particular, were good. It would also be good with chicken.

Served 5
Source: Betty Crocker

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baked Ziti

1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-26 ounce spaghetti sauce (I use canned Hunts, Traditional or Garlic flavor)
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
1 tbls. parsley
1.5 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
8 ounces ziti (cook to al dente)
1 carton (8 oz.) ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 c grated Parmesan, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Cook beef, onion, and garlic. Stir in tomatoes and spices.
  2. In a bowl, mix cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. In a sprayed 9X13, layer, 1 cup sauce, half the pasta, half the cheese, 1 cup sauce, remaining pasta, cheese, and remaining sauce.
  4. Top with Parmesan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until heated through.
NOTE: I did not have ricotta and substituted low-fat cream cheese. It was really good and I'd definitely use it again.
Also good to divide into two smaller pans and freeze one.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grilled Corn Salad


6 ears corn, shucked
2 avocados, cut into cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 green onions
1/2 of a small can of diced chili peppers, or 1 teaspoon of diced jalapenos

Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Grill corn and green onions over low heat until it starts to brown in spots; allow to cool slightly and the cut the kernels off the cob, finely chop the white portions of the onion. Stir together the dressing ingredients, stir in the avocado chunks first followed by the remaining ingredients. Chill to allow the flavors to meld.

Note: The only reason I stir the avocados in first is so that they get coated with lime juice to slow the browning.

Yield: about 1-1/2 quarts(mind you they were kinda smallish ears of corn)